Chris Cunningham Earns Career First At Fulton – DTD EXCLUSIVE

By:  Bobby Sweeney

FULTON, NY – Chris Cunningham has compiled an extensive list of racing accomplishments over his long career, but Saturday at Fulton Speedway, Cunningham may have nailed down his biggest one yet. The second-year 358-Modified driver did everything right to hold off a late run by Tim Sears Jr. to score his first win in the division.

Cunningham led Corey Barker at the beginning of the 35-lap feature, with most of the frontrunners running around the infield tires. The only car near the front consistently making the top work was Sears, and Sears was getting faster as the race wore on.

Sears got to fourth on lap 22, then picked off Jeff Taylor for third on lap 27. Lap 30 saw Barker fall to Sears, which meant Sears had a handful of laps to reel in Cunningham. While Sears made a charge, Sears couldn’t not close in on Cunningham at the rate he caught the previous drivers, with Cunningham hooked up well on the bottom of the track. With the checkered waiving, it was Cunningham scoring the win, with Sears, Barker, Taylor, and Justin Crisafulli completing the top five.

While Cunningham is relatively new to the 358-Modified class, he is one of the most experienced drivers in the pits. Cunningham has spent decades racing around central New York in full-fender and open-wheel cars.




“I’ve been racing for 40 years, since I was 15 years old,” Cunningham said. “We moved up last year to the Modifieds and we struggled a bit to start, but this is one of my biggest moments of my racing career. I’ve got Sportsman wins here and at Brewerton, and a ton in the Pro Stocks and Street Stocks at Utica-Rome, but this is something special to win one in the Modified ranks. It doesn’t matter what happens from here on out, this made my racing career tonight. I honestly wasn’t too nervous out there, I think I only looked at the scoreboard once on lap 18 just to see what lap we were on, but now I’m speechless.”

Along with his win, Chris’ son Casey scored the Hobby Stock win immediately following the Modified event. The Cunningham cars resemble models from the Mopar brands whenever possible, Casey’s Hobby Stock bodied like a Dodge Challenger.

“We got this motor from Gor-Den, and the car is from Pat Ward originally from 2020,” noted Cunningham. “We’ve always had Mopar stuff, and soon, either later this year or next year, we’ll have a Dodge motor under the hood of the 358-Modified. We’re currently working on that package, and it should be fun to have a unique motor.”

TRACK RELEASE

There were a pair of 25-lap Sportsman features raced Saturday night.

In the first feature Tim Gareau would lead the opening two laps when he would get shoved into an infield tire exiting turn two, ending his night. Track officials would put Brett Draper to the back of the field for the contact.

Richard Murtaugh and Chris Mackey by lap five were in a two-car breakaway for the lead as Cody Manitta, Clayton Brewer, and Alan Fink raced in a tight pack for third through fifth.

With ten laps showing on the scoring tower, Murtaugh, Mackey, and Fink made it a three-way battle for the top spot. Tyler Corcoran and Manitta raced for fourth and fifth.

After hounding Murtaugh for a number of laps, Fink would grab the lead by inches at the line with ten laps remaining. Corcoran, Mackey, and Brett Sears were still in contention.

Over the final laps, Alan Fink would hold off Tyler Corcoran for the win. Brett Sears, Chris Mackey, and Jordan Millard completed the top-five.

In the second 25-lap feature James Donaldson would grab the lead at the drop of the green and by lap five held a slim lead over Robert Gage, Kearra Backus, Andrew Buff, and Quinn Wallis.

By lap ten the intensity got turned up as you could have thrown a blanket over Donaldson, Gage, Amy Holland, and Buff, with AJ Miller just a couple car lengths back.

With ten laps remaining the intensity was turned up even more as Donaldson, Holland, Buff, Gage, and Miller ran within inches of each other in the battle of the night for a win.

On lap seventeen, Buff went to the topside of the speedway to drive into the lead as the final laps started clicking off the scoring tower.

A yellow on lap twenty-three slowed the exciting fight for the lead and set up a green, white, checkers finish.

When the race went back to green, Andrew Buff drove away for the win. James Donaldson, who was racing in Novice earlier this season, finished second. Amy Holland, AJ Miller, and Robert Gage finished third through fifth.

Brandon Barron led the opening four laps of the 20-lap Hobby Stock feature before Jim Evans, who started sixth, took over the lead. On lap eight Casey Cunningham, who watched his dad win the Modified feature, made the winning pass and never looked back, joining dad as a feature winner on the same night. Bob Buono, Ron Marsden, Jim Evans and Adam Hunt completed the top-five.

The 15-lap Novice Sportsman feature saw Danny Allen lead the opening four laps before Skylar Greenfield took over the lead. Greenfield would lead the rest of the way but had to hold off Jason Parkhurst Jr. for the win.

The finale of the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints Speedweek raced a 25-lap feature, and the winner Davie Franek took care of business as he also won the ESS Speedweek Championship.

Shawn Donath would lead the opening nine laps before Franek went to the extreme topside of the speedway to blast into the lead.

With ten laps to go Franek was in his own zip code running up against the wall while also putting cars a lap down. Donath, Jordan Poirier, Dylan Swiernik, and Jason Barney battled for the top-five.

With no yellows over the final laps, Davie Franek cruised to the three-second win over Shawn Donath. Regular season points leader Jordan Poirier, Dylan Swiernik, and Jason Barney completed the top-five.

This coming Saturday, July 9 Ryan Phelps Auto Sales will present one of the fans’ favorite nights during the race season with Family Autograph Night. During intermission, fans of all ages can come down track-side and get up close to all the cars, meet their favorite drivers for pictures, autographs, hero cards and other giveaways.

Racing will feature the Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar Modifieds, DOT Foods DIRTcar Sportsman, Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux Hobby Stocks, E&V Energy Novice Sportsman, plus the AmeriCU Credit Union Mod Lites.

Adult G/A is $15.00, 18 years old and younger, G/A is Free. Pits (All Ages) is $35. Pits will open at 4:00 pm. Grandstands 5:00 pm. Hot laps 6:00 pm. Racing begins at 7:00 pm.

Any questions you might have and for marketing opportunities, contact Cory Reed at (315) 593-6531 or cory@fultonspeedway.com. For all the latest news, go to www.fultonspeedway.com powered by My Race Pass and like the speedway social media pages.

Jammers Sports Bar & Restaurant / A-Verdi Storage Containers July 2 Results

Tracey Road Equipment DIRTcar Modifieds – (35 Laps): 1. 29K-Chris Cunningham[1]; 2. 83X-Tim Sears Jr[12]; 3. 31-Corey Barker[4]; 4. 15-Todd Root[7]; 5. 11T-Jeff Taylor[2]; 6. 11-Justin Crisafulli[6]; 7. 42-Colton Wilson[5]; 8. 58M-Marshall Hurd[13]; 9. 7Z-Zachary Payne[19]; 10. M1-David Marcuccilli[14]; 11. 34-Andrew Ferguson[9]; 12. 10R-Ryan Richardson[3]; 13. 66W-Derek Webb[17]; 14. B2-Bob Henry Jr[10]; 15. 79-Jeff Prentice[20]; 16. 32R-Ronald Davis III[11]; 17. 713-Tommy Collins[8]; 18. 3K-AJ Kingsley[16]; 19. 00-Connor Sellars[18]; 20. 329-Matt Becker[15]; 21. (DNS) 13-Teddy Starr

DOT Foods DIRTcar Sportsman #1 – (25 Laps): 1. 28-Alan Fink[13]; 2. 64-Tyler Corcoran[14]; 3. 83X-Brett Sears[11]; 4. 3-Chris Mackey[9]; 5. 99-Jordan Millard[17]; 6. 4-Emmett Waldron[7]; 7. 19J-Joe Kline[10]; 8. 57H-Rocky Grosso[5]; 9. 9D-Brett Draper[2]; 10. 19K-Kevan Cook[18]; 11. 5D-Kyle Devendorf[12]; 12. 11C-Austin Cooper[16]; 13. 33-Richard Murtaugh[4]; 14. 6-Cody Manitta[6]; 15. 33JR-Clayton Brewer III[3]; 16. 15J-Jake Davis[8]; 17. 30-Michael Root[15]; 18. 5G-Tim Gareau[1]

DOT Foods DIRTcar Sportsman #2 – (25 Laps): 1. 92-Andrew Buff[7]; 2. 13-James Donaldson[1]; 3. 5-Amy Holland[8]; 4. 14AJ-AJ Miller[6]; 5. 01R-Robert Gage[4]; 6. 48-Kearra Backus[3]; 7. 21W-Quinn Wallis[9]; 8. 01-Zachary Buff[13]; 9. 29B-Jason Breezee[15]; 10. 31B-Ryan Dolbear[11]; 11. 00W-Wade Chrisman[5]; 12. 18G-Justin Gadbaw[14]; 13. 77L-Buddy Leathley[10]; 14. 77J-Justin Breezee[17]; 15. 28J-Joseph Buonagurio[16]; 16. 21-Billy Sauve[2]; 17. 0-Tony Finch II[12]

NAPA Know How Chase Elliott Award: Brett Draper, Jason Breezee.

Billy Whittaker Cars & Trux Hobby Stocks – (20 Laps): 1. 29K-Casey Cunningham[3]; 2. 64-Bob Buano[7]; 3. 711-Ron Marsden[4]; 4. 74X-Jim Evans[6]; 5. 13-Adam Hunt[8]; 6. 14JR-Ronald Hawker[5]; 7. 22-Todd Koegel[10]; 8. 56-Edward Stevens[9]; 9. 14-Brennan Fitzgibbons[1]; 10. 28-Brandon Barron[2]

E&V Energy Novice Sportsman – (15 Laps): 1. 76G-Skylar Greenfield[7]; 2. 38JR-Jason Parkhurst Jr[6]; 3. 52M-Matthew Backus[9]; 4. 17A-Danny Allen[3]; 5. B1-RJ Budd[5]; 6. 33B-Brianna Murtaugh[12]; 7. 7W-Michael Wight[13]; 8. 05-Jesse Morgan[4]; 9. 2T-Steven Tabor[2]; 10. 33-Alan McDonald[11]; 11. 24R-Rick Kinney[1]; 12. 19C-Ron DeGroft[8]; 13. (DNS) 8-Joshua Hughto